Wright State University

The Guardian

Tips and Tricks to prep for placement tests

Taylor McKinley, News Writer

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Summer is here, which means WSU students are (hopefully) catching a break from their full class schedules, sleepless nights and early mornings.

However, many incoming students are preparing for an important part of the admission process: placement tests.

Placement tests are given in mathematics and English to determine the appropriate opening course for new students who have not completed a college-level course in mathematics or English composition.

Paula Ali, coordinator for developmental writing and coordinator for testing at Wright State University, offers many tips for students who are preparing for WSU placement tests.

“For the writing test, students should be prepared to carefully read an article or essay so that they can summarize what they read and then draft, revise edit and post an essay about the reading selection,” Ali said.

Ali went on to say, “Additional details are available when students log in to take the writing placement test. Students have twelve hours to complete and submit their work to the writing placement test website.”

Students who wish to review math should visit the Testing Services website. A list of helpful online resources can be found there.

For a better idea of how the placement tests work, Ali described what students should expect when taking them.

“The math test contains 30 questions, and those questions differ depending on how well the student performs. Students usually complete the test in about 90 minutes,” Ali said.

The writing test is different in that students can take it on their own time without on-site supervision. For information on what to expect, Ali encourages students to visit the Testing Services website.

“The dropdown menu on the writing placement portion of the Testing Services website is very helpful in explaining what to expect. I would encourage prospective students to read and then re-read everything on our website before starting their tests,” Ali said.

Courtney Lutz, a current Wright State student, searched for practice math problems and quizzes to prepare. For the writing test, precision was her key to success.

“I just practiced using correct grammar and making myself stay in the right tense. While taking it I made sure to read it all before I submitted it,” Lutz said.

Rachel Adams, another Wright State student, used resources she already had at home to prepare.

“I used my SAT study books to prepare for my placement tests, which gave me practice math problems and sample essays to write,” Adams said.

Ali offered a helpful analogy.

“I often think of how academic growth is similar to the training and conditioning expected of accomplished athletes. Nothing really improves unless there is focused and sustained commitment,” Ali said.

“Genuine learning occurs when students provide themselves with daily opportunities to read, to write, to practice and to think. They learn when they build upon their existing knowledge, when they open themselves up to experiencing new ways of thinking and when they fully commit to absorbing new information for both short-term and long-term gain.”

Visit the Testing Services website for more information on what to expect and how to prepare for placement testing.

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Tips and Tricks to prep for placement tests